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House of Gucci: The Background & The Anticipation

It’s safe to say that everyone has been going crazy for the upcoming film House of Gucci. Directed by Ridley Scott, the film centers on Patrizia Reggiani, played by the ever-powerful Lady Gaga, and her part in the murder of her husband Maurizio Gucci, played by Adam Driver. This film is based on the true story detailed in Sara Gay Forden’s book of the same name. So what do we need to know about Gucci and the characters involved without reading the book?

Gucci was (hilariously) founded by a man named Guccio Gucci whose sons and grandsons had control over the fashion house in the years after its founding. One of those grandsons was Maurizio. Maurizio was constantly feuding with his uncle Aldo (Al Pacino) and his son Paolo (Jared Leto) for control over the dynasty. Maurizio’s wife Patrizia became intent on helping him plot a takeover of the house. However, Aldo still remained firm in keeping Maurizio out, and due to all the fees associated with lawsuits, he was forced to sell his shares of the company. By this time, Maurizio and Patrizia were divorced, but his exit from the company angered her.

Patrizia was born the daughter of a wealthy socialite and cared deeply about money and success. Because she had the vulgar and ambitious nature of a social climber, she was disliked by Maurizio’s father, Rodolfo (Jeremy Irons). Maurizio resisted his father’s opinions because he loved Patrizia, and she loved him, although she definitely seemed to wear the pants in the relationship, and considered him to be weak. Once he lost his grip on the company, he left her for his mistress and she did not take it well. She was very open with her rage and many people said she had mentioned killing him.

Maurizio was shot four times and killed walking into his office building in Milan on March 27, 1995. Patrizia wasn’t arrested until two years later when an anonymous tip led the police to her. The trial was nothing short of crazy. Tapes were played in which Reggiani was heard threatening Maurizio and his mistress and the hitmen responsible confessed and pointed at Patrizia for organizing the whole thing. Even Patrizia’s personal astrologer and friend, Pina Auriemma (Salma Hayek), confessed to having helped conspire by finding her hitmen. Another crucial piece of evidence was a diary entry written the day Maurizio was shot which read only “paradeisos,” the Greek work for paradise.

Although Patrizia’s lawyers tried to please mental instability, the court ruled that she was competent at the time of the murder. As expected, due to the mountain of evidence against her, she was found guilty and sentenced to 29 years in prison. She is alive and well and was released in 2016 on good behavior. She seemed to have been pretty cooperative with Forden when helping her with research for the film but is not particularly happy with her lack of involvement in the film.

All this in mind, the announcement of House of Gucci was extremely popular from the start and has seemed to draw fans from numerous bases, most notably the “Little Monsters,” as Lady Gaga calls her fans. The pop star posted a photo tease on Instagram in March of her and co-star Adam Driver in winter gear on the set of the film. The photo blew up on the internet and got a lot of people excited for more. The buzz around Lady Gaga’s rapidly-growing career as an actress has been a topic of discussion ever since her breakout role in Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born (2018). She is, once again, generating Oscar momentum for her the film and her performance, potentially earning her a second nomination for the acclaimed Best Actress award. Aside from the stars who are making the film, fans are also drawn to the flashy and, of course, inherently fashionable aesthetic of the film. From the costumes to the accents, House of Gucci is definitely something you want to look at, which is partly due to the masterful direction by Ridley Scott, known for films like Alien, Blade Runner, and The Martian. Scott also released The Last Duel, also starring Adam Driver, on October 15 earlier this fall. House of Gucci comes out Wednesday, November 24 in theaters and I don’t know about you, but I am very thankful to be spending my Thanksgiving weekend watching this movie.

Caroline is currently a junior Communication Studies major with minors in Arts & Entertainment Management and History at Pace University in New York City. She specializes in writing about pop culture and food, and thanks HerCampus for the chance to let her do so. Feel free to check out her Instagram @carolineggerman!
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